Eyewitness News’ Brandon Bartlett speaks with Sen. Mitch McConnell


(WEHT)- Eyewitness News’ Brandon Bartlett spoke with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)


MITCH MCCONNELL: I think there are two things that need to be conveyed. Number one, before the pandemic hit we had comprehensive tax reform, which was hugely successful. We had the best economy in 50 years in February of this year. Two supreme court justices over, 200 new federal court judges, strict constructionists who believe the job the judges to actually follow the law. Not only were taxes lowered, but regulations were lowered and the economy was responding. I Think that’s what he needs to say. In addition, we need to point out what the other guys will do if they win.

The Democratic Party today is not your mother’s Democratic Party. All the moderates are gone. Joe Biden, I know him well. He has signed up for the whole thing, he won the primary and then turned the policy over to Bernie Sanders. So what you can expect is District of Columbia statehood, given two senators to a community full of lobbyists and influence peddlers. And that course offsets the two senators from Kentucky. Two senators, with a new state of Puerto Rico, packing the Supreme Court by adding new justices and filling the vacancies. The circuit courts, the district courts as well, and putting judicial advocates in place and then turning to the economy and do what democrats always do, which has raised our taxes and over-regulate the economy. That’s what you get if President Trump is defeated, and if Chuck Schumer becomes the majority leader of the Senate, which brings me to my opponent, if she were to win this seat. The first vote she would cast would be to make Chuck Schumer the Majority Leader of the Senate, transferring that position from Kentucky to New York. Right now, the four congressional leaders, I’m the only one of the four not from New York or California. A dramatic loss of influence for Kentucky.

BRANDON BARTLETT: Democrats last night immediately began countering the Republican message saying that they are focusing on the President’s failed response to COVID-19. We are in the middle of a pandemic, many people are saying the government should be doing more. Should the government be doing more and coming up with a strategy to stop this pandemic?

MITCH MCCONNELL: Well, we do have a strategy is called the CARE Act. We spent $3 trillion to not only tackle the healthcare pandemic, but also to help float the economy during that period when we were literally shut down.

We should be doing more. I advocated another round of rescue for the country. The reason we’re not is Pelosi and Schumer demanding $3 trillion that includes such things as giving tax cuts to high-income people in New York and California, which has nothing whatsoever to do with the Coronavirus.

What I’ve recommended is a narrowly crafted Coronavirus rescue package, liability protection so that we don’t have an epidemic of lawsuits on the heels of the pandemic, kids in school, jobs and healthcare and we need another $1200 check to low-income people who’ve been hit the hardest those people who work largely in the hospitality industry, hotels, restaurants, and we need to prop up unemployment insurance because it’s going to be unacceptably high until we get a vaccine. And that’s the only way we get the Coronavirus behind.

The Coronavirus doesn’t care about the election. The Democrats are trying to take advantage of it to beat the President which I think is completely ridiculous and unsustainable, an argument that simply doesn’t fly.

BRANDON BARTLETT: I want to ask you too about the post office. Are you concerned about mail-in voting and do you think that the post office can handle it?

MITCH MCCONNELL: The post office is going to be fine and in the stalled negotiations we’ve had over getting another rescue package, the administration’s offered $10 billion for the post office. That’s plenty enough. The Postmaster General has said everybody’s mail-in vote is going to be secure.

I have total confidence that if our people choose to vote by mail and during the pandemic, more people will be voting by mail for obvious reasons. Their vote will be counted, the post office can handle it and I think we ought to stop the argument over the post office. It’s not going to be a problem.

BRANDON BARTLETT: Will the Senate vote on the package that the House voted on?

MITCH MCCONNELL: Not post office only. I do think we ought to do more for the post office. But the post office by itself doesn’t do anything to tackle the Coronavirus. We need to do more than that. And so I would not pass a post office bill only. We need to do something for the post office but we need to do all these other things too. Help real people out there who is struggling.

BRANDON BARTLETT: A big issue this election, a lot of people are calling for defunding the police. What are your thoughts?

MITCH MCCONNELL: Well, I mean, it’s an absurd argument. Most police officers all across the country are doing a very tough job doing it well to protect all of us. I mean, if you defund the police department, what do they expect people to do when they get in trouble? Call the social worker? That doesn’t work. I think they were mixing up the demonstrations and not paying attention to the fact that there are two things going on in the typical demonstration. One is peaceful protests and constitutionally protected activity. And the other in many of these protests, looting and violence. Yes, I have no tolerance for looting and violence. The only people who can deal with looting and violence are our police officers. So they need to be supported. And I’m a proud supporter of the police. I think the defund in the police argument is utterly nonsense and absurd. We ought to be grateful we have them and back them up.

BRANDON BARTLETT: Senator, thank you very much.

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